Last weekend the club was on the verge of withdrawing the team from the Norfolk Women & Girls League because the combined efforts of a number of small-minded adults were making it more & more difficult for the team to continue playing competitive football.
But the passion the girls showed for their team, their refusal to be beaten by mean-spirited adults and their Never Give Up attitude resulted in them persuading loads of new girl players to join the club at training on Monday.
They played their first match without any help from the boys today and whilst they still had fewer players than the opposition,took turns in goal and didn’t win, their sheer determination to keep the team going is extraordinary. We’re incredibly grateful that the girls and their parents kept faith in the team. Their loyalty should be applauded and their commitment in the face of such adversity is an inspiration to us all.
The club has been shocked by the criticism we’ve received for playing boys in this team so far this season. Our only motivation was to enable the girls to play. The club imposed rules that there would never be more boys than girls on the pitch, that the boys should not make an attempt on goal and would not be allowed to score. In the games we did play, we always had at least one player fewer than the opposition and never had any subs to call on – hardly the “unfair advantage” we’ve been accused of. For other managers to pass judgement on us without speaking to us to discuss our reasoning and self imposed rules is pitiful.
There were even two teams that refused to play matches against us! Shameful behaviour. If a team in any other league refused to play a game because the opposition included girls then the shouts of discrimination would have been loud and vociferous.
So, aside from once again thanking the girls for their outstanding commitment, we would like to express special thanks firstly to Stacey & Chris from NWGFL and Kevin from Taverham FC for their invaluable support and encouragement over the past couple of months. As far as we’re concerned you’ve all been a ray of sunshine in a very dark period for girls football in Norfolk.
Secondly, we’d like to thank Jo for stepping forward and offering to manage our team when no-one else was prepared to. Her determination to keep the team going is heartwarming and we hope that she will now be given the opportunity to prove her detractors wrong. Iain also deserves a special mention for making the time to help Jo and the girls with training & matches when he has so many other commitments, both within the club and outside football.
Finally we need to thank Jake, Jordon, Taylor, Connor, Nat and their parents for having the courage to step forward and support the girls in one game or another. Their sportsmanship was beyond reproach and they should be immensely proud of themselves.
The club will continue to support training for these and a new cohort of younger girls and are committed to doing everything possible to give all of them the opportunity play the game they love.
#GoGirls #NeverGiveUp #CromerLionesses